Ricky Ford

Loxodonta Africana

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Tenor saxophonist Ricky Ford's first record as a leader preceded the beginning of his highly rated string of Muse albums by a year. 23 at the time, Ford already had a recognizable sound that was influenced by Dexter Gordon. For this ambitious effort (which displayed the impact of his stint with Charles Mingus), Ford performs five of his originals (including one called "Dexter"), plus John Coltrane's "One Up, One Down" and the standard "My Romance." Ford is well showcased in a sextet with both Oliver Beener and Charles Sullivan on trumpets and a nonet that adds altoist James Spaulding, trombonist Janice Robinson, and the tuba of Jonathan Dorn; the rhythm section in both cases is composed of bassist Richard Davis and Mingus's pianist (Bob Neloms) and drummer (Dannie Richmond).

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